My friends and I used to play Rock Band a fair bit. At least several times a month and sometimes we’d play several times a weekend. We are all fans of a variety of music, and most of us like to sing, so it was a fun excuse to hang out and listen to music while trying some new things.
I always had big fun, but I often felt a little out of step with everyone else because even though I love music, I don’t *get* it on some level. I rarely recognize music by its opening chords, I can’t tell when to come in, and I can’t for the life of me tell whether I am singing well or singing terribly – but seeing as no ear drums started bleeding, I figured I mostly did okay. One of the features in Rock Band was your ability to increase your points by going into ‘overdrive’ – mode that you could earn by building up energy within the game (by doing well) and then releasing by moving the instruments in a certain way, or by vocalizing into the mic when the screen took on a certain pattern.
For the longest time, I didn’t activate overdrive because I didn’t quite understand how it worked and I didn’t want to ‘waste’ the energy I built up. Of course, I would end up losing that energy because the song would end without me having gone into overdrive. Then my character would be labelled an Energy Hoarder when the scores were tallied.
The idea of me being an Energy Hoarder just popped into my head again as I was practicing my plank for my belt test on Sunday.*
I hate to use up my physical energy. My emotional energy gets taxed all the time, I don’t notice my social energy depleting until it’s gone, but my physical energy? I always hold it back. I’m a physical Energy Hoarder.
I’m not really sure why that is, I don’t know if I have always done it. I know though, that it came to a peak when the kids were small – I always kept a little energy in reserve in case they needed me to drag myself out of bed in the middle of the night, or to carry them somewhere, or to do something one-more-time.
Now though, I should be able to use up most of my energy, to go all in, and not worry about how much time I will need to build it back up. I don’t though. I never go all in. I’m not even sure how.
I know part of it is that I don’t like the feeling. There’s a physical uncertainty in throwing yourself fully into an activity that is – for me, anyway- very unpleasant. I don’t know if that’s an introvert thing – most of us don’t get the same high from exercise that extroverts do, or if it is unique to me. I have to be very, very into my exercise in order to get past that mental barrier – seriously, it’s like I slam into a wall when I try to just go for it. It’s not that I am physically incapable of these things. It’s that I am hoarding my energy, and that’s all mental.
I think that will be my next project after my belt test. I’ll figure out under what circumstances I do thwart the mental barrier, and figure out how to replicate them in other activities. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’ll be a black belt by then – black belts can totally handle that sort of thing.**
* I need to be able to do a 2 minute plank. This morning was the first time I accomplished that, pushing past when I would have normally given up. Then I did it again this afternoon.
**Victoria tells me that with all the habits I want to develop, I must be trying to be a black belt in LIFE. I like that idea. 🙂